Composing

Joanna Forbes L'Estrange Composer

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange (b.1971) began composing and arranging as soprano and Musical Director of the five-time Grammy® award-winning a cappella group The Swingle Singers (1998-2004). Her compositional style is influenced by a passion for close harmony vocal groups and jazz. She regularly collaborates with her husband Alexander L’Estrange, writing songs for such groups as The King’s Singers, The Military Wives Choirs, and SingUp as well as for their award-winning series of large-scale community choral works, the latest of which is Freedom! The Power of Song (premiered in Winchester cathedral in November 2018).

A popular composer of music for upper voices, Joanna wrote Give us grace  for London’s all-female professional chamber choir Aurora Nova  for International Women’s Day 2018. She has received commissions from the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and Finchley Children’s Music Group, for whom she wrote Winter Songs (commissioned for the choir’s 60th anniversary concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London). The Twyford Carols , a set of three jazzy carols for upper voices and piano, was commissioned by Twyford School and written in collaboration with Alexander L’Estrange. Her feminist anthem Twenty-first-century woman written for a larger piece, Freedom! The Power of Song, has been recorded as a charity single for International Women’s Day 2019.

Joanna’s sacred output includes a congregational setting of the mass, The St Helen’s Service, a hauntingly-beautiful carol called Advent ‘O’ Carol and St Richard’s Prayerall published by RSCM. She also co-wrote many of the pieces featured on the album On Eagles’ Wings, recorded by the award-winning chamber choir, Tenebrae.

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